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St. Maarten must compensate possible deficit in next budget

THURSDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2013

THE HAGUE–St. Maarten is not entirely off the hook now that it has an approved 2013 budget, warned Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk in his letter of September 23, to St. Maarten Finance Minister Martin Hassink.

The possible critical remarks of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT relating to the revenues and expenditures over 2013 will have consequences for assessment of the 2014 budget and will have to be compensated in the next budget, stated Plasterk.

He reminded Hassink that there is an agreement in the Kingdom Council of Ministers that structural deficits in a budgetary year will be compensated structurally in the next budgetary year.

“The advice of the CFT will be leading in first instance for the Kingdom Council of Ministers if the CFT were to advise an instruction for the 2014 budget based on the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision,” stated Plasterk.

Plasterk informed Hassink that the Kingdom Government had discussed the recently approved 2013 budget of St. Maarten during its meeting last week Friday and that it had been decided that “given the moment of the approval of the 2013 budget the Kingdom Council of Ministers did not consider it opportune to go over to an instruction.”

Plasterk said the CFT would give its final assessment on this budget shortly. The Kingdom Council of Ministers, as supervising body of the Financial Supervision Law, will follow the advice of the CFT, he added.

Plasterk further noted that the CFT’s semi-annual report covering the period January to June 2013 had been discussed in a meeting of the Kingdom Government on September 6. He sent the CFT report, dated August 5, to Hassink and stated that he corroborated the conclusions in that report.

According to Plasterk, the Kingdom Government has taken note of a number of analyses mentioned in the CFT report regarding St. Maarten’s general financial situation, the budgetary process and related issues.

Plasterk also sent his letter, which was released on Wednesday, to the First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament. The Kingdom Council of Ministers will meet again this Friday, on the request of the Government of St. Maarten. On the agenda will be the integrity investigation the Kingdom Government has requested that St. Maarten Governor Eugene Holiday coordinate. St. Maarten has objected to this investigation.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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